What is Cultural and Critical Studies at the University of Denver?
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural and Critical Studies is an exciting interdisciplinary field. Culture most generally refers to the network of institutions, relations, and signs within which people lead their lives. Anthropology has used this concept to study "Other" cultures. Cultural Studies brings it back home and applies it to both the remarkable and the ordinary. Cultural Studies combines areas such as Anthropology, Sociology, History, English, Economics, and Film Studies, to illuminate ways in which human beings communicate, make sense of their condition, endow objects with meaning, fight, play, make love, and die. Critique is a basic element of Cultural Studies precisely because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field. In applying various methods of study, we must also interrogate the terms that each area uses, as well as their boundaries.
The Program in Cultural and Critical Studies
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural and Critical Studies requires a minimum of 41 quarter hours. Students are required to study interdisciplinary foundation courses after consultation with the director. They are encouraged to do so during their sophomore or junior year. These courses provide a groundwork of methods and theory for all future study. In addition to these foundation courses, students and their faculty advisors designate 16-20 hours of Companion Courses (courses over the 1000-level) drawn from appropriate departments and their offerings. This allows students to pursue in depth a particular area of interest. Each of the Foundation Courses suggests particular directions that students might take.
For instance, CCST 2100 Culture, Media, and Power, provides the essential framework for more advanced studies in film, media, new communications technologies, and their social and political implications.
The CCST Major offers wonderful opportunities for those students who wish to design a degree that truly responds to their own intellectual development. The CCST degree may go in many different directions as, with advice and guidance, students construct their major. For instance, they can draw on many arts, languages and humanities course, or orient their study more towards the social, and natural sciences. This Characteristic also means that CCST works very well as a double major. The final element in the CCST degree program is a Senior Research Seminar – a yearlong nine-credit course of study with a faculty director – which allows for in-depth research into an area of special interest.